Monthly Archives: September 2012

African Roots Podcast Episode # 180 September 14, 2012

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome back to the African Roots Podcast!
I can be reached at

News from the State of Georgia, the Georgia State Archives is closing its doors to the public effective November 1st of this year. This is due to budget cuts. There has been a response from the community asking the governor to reconsider this decision and there is currently an online petition underway to take to the governor. Hopefully there will be a reconsideration of this decision, as no other state in the country has taken such dire steps. (For the petition click HERE)

The Central MD Chapter of AAHGS will be having their Lunch and Learn Session. The focus will be basics strategies of research for the states of Alabama, North and South Carolina and Mississippi. Volunteers will be on hand to assist as well. This will be at the library in Columbia MD on Cradelrock Way.

The Richmond Chapter of AAHGS will have its September meeting on Saturday the 29th at 10:30 am at the Richmond Public Library. The guest speaker will be Dr. Michael Blakey, from the College of William and Mary. He will be talking about DNA and genealogy, the pros and cons thereof, and his own research projects as well. You may recognize his name, as he is most known for being the lead scientist on the New York African Burial Ground project.

The College of William & Mary Middle Passage Project 1619 Initiative and the Lemon Project, Norfolk State University, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the Nottoway Indian tribe of Virginia announce “1619: The Making of America,” a two-day conference to be held at NSU’s New Student Center on Sept. 21-22, 2012. The course originates in Africana Studies, as AFST 306 and can be taken as a cross-listed registration in other programs and departments.

Congratulations on organizing the 1st meeting of this brand new organization! The DELMARVA chapter of the African American Genealogy Society will take place. The first Meeting of the will occur on Saturday October 6th, beginning at 9:30 am @ University of Maryland Eastern Shore Student Services Center, the Allen J. Singleton Multi-Purpose Room (on first floor). More information found HERE.

Robyn Smith and Alice Harris have been teaching genealogy classes. Robyn’s class in Advanced African Genealogy is being offered again. The class will start on November 13th at Howard Community College (HCC) in Columbia MD. This is a great class for intermediate or advanced level researchers!!! Click on this link to get additional information and to register for the class.

A NEW WEBSITE was share with me this week. Nominy Hall. Many of you have heard about Robert Carter II and the Robert Carter slaves. Well there is an effort to provide a resource for the descendants of the 500 + slaves freed by Carter in 1791. This is the largest act of manumission ever known to have occurred. Tomorrow September 15 there will be a special commemoration ceremony in Weems Virginia Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at Historic Christ Church, 420 Christ Church Road, Weems, VA 22576

There is also now an effort to document the families of those who were freed by Robert Carter. The website is called Nominy Hall and they are working to document the legacy of these families.

Last night’s Bernice Bennett show was a treat. The National President of the Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society , Ms. Tamela Tenpennny-Lewis was the guest. Ms. Tenpenny-Lewis herself has been devoted to the preservation of African American family history, family artifacts, and cemeteries and last night she spoke about all of those topics. The conversation was lively, at times amusing and throughout the interview she was insightful as well as entertaining. A feature of the show was also hearing about her work in the preservation of African American burial sites and in addition the involvement of the next generation in the process of preservation.

Ms. Tenpenny-Lewis is a native of Arkansas and this was the second week that the state of Arkansas and its wonderful research holdings were featured on Bernice Bennett’s show. Last week, Linda McDowall, an archivist from the Butler Center of the Central Library system of Arkansas was the guest. Remember that Ms. Bennett’s show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm EST on Blog Talk Radio.

A Preservation Story
Speaking of Preservation, one of the stories coming out of the south this week is one of preservation. For those of you who are admirers of the history of the Tuskegee Airmen, there is good news. Many know that the Tuskegee airmen were trained by C. Alfred Anderson, know by many as Chief Anderson. It was announced that the artifacts of Chief Anderson will be preserved and are on their way to the Smithsonian institution. Chief Anderson was the chief flight instructor of the Tuskegee airmen in World War II. Among the artifacts to be given will be original pilot’s licenses, photographs, letters written by the 99th Fighter Squadron and so much more. A spokesperson from the Smithsonian, Bill Gwaltney, whom many know as a major preservationist, commended the family, especially the descendants of Chief Anderson for working to preserve Chief Anderson’s legacy. Christina Anderson, is also establishing a foundation to preserve the artifacts belonging to Chief Anderson that will not go the Smithsonian .

To contribute to the C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson Legacy Foundation, visit or contact Christina Anderson at (404) 376-7527 or

All of these events and discussions of preservation should inspire us all to reflect, plan and explore our own efforts to document and preserve the legacy for the next generations.

Well, thanks for listening and keep sending me your events, websites and endeavors. In the meantime, keep researching keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.

African Roots Podcast Episode # 179 September 7, 2012

This Week's Pod Cast


Welcome to the African Roots Podcast!
You can reach me at

Well the fall season is here, even though the weather is still warm outside. Hope you are planning and looking ahead for fall.

New Events:
September 15, Wilmington Delaware:
“Telling Your African American Family Story: An Introductory Genealogy Workshop,” Saturday, September 15th, in Wilmington, Delaware. Among the speakers are Shamele Jordon, Syl Woolford, Jim J. Jones, Constance J. Cooper. The event will run from 10:00 to 3:30 pm. For more information, send e-mail to with your name and number of people attending OR Telephone Constance Cooper at Delaware Historical Society, 302-295-2385

September 16, Tidewater Virginia Area:

Russell Hopson will speak Sunday the 16th at 3:00 PM York Hall in Yorktwon, VA His topic is “Union Army Census of the Colored Population of York County, March 1865 “ He will tell the stories of some of the Contraband families as they began new chapters in their lives after the Civil War.

September 19th Washington DC 6:30pm-8:30pm This is an interest event that will catch the attention of Civil War enthusiasts. The African American Civil War Museum is hosting, a celebration commemorating “150th anniversary of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation”. This is also a fund-raising event and is called a Proclamation Gala. The goal is to assist the museum in preserving and telling the stories of the United States Colored Troop and African American involvement in the Civil War. Click HERE to get your tickets or call 202.667.2667.

Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian: Finding Native American Ancestors in African American Families.

Oct. 10-12 conference called “A Progressive Journey Through Indiana History,”
an event sponsored by the Southern Indiana Minority Initiative Inc. of Jeffersonville. This focuses on an interesting story of Elizabeth a former slave who sued a man in court for assault and false imprisonment and who won her cases in 1814. The sponsoring group hopes to establish a Black heritage trail throughout the state of Indiana. For information or details, or to register, contact the Southern Indiana Minority Enterprise Initiative, at (502) 550-0484 or by email The deadline to register is Sept. 15.

Other events for October:

Chicago Annual Conference
AAHGS Annual Conference

International Black Genealogy Summit

I hope you are taking time on those special projects, both expected and unexpected. I have had a great research year with having been lucky to have found two fascinating stories that I blogged about. (Martha Hockenhull Story, and the Spotswood Rice Story) These stories of unique and little known people from small communities provide truly rich data. These untold heroes reflect the lives and times of our ancestors. Perhaps this should also become our own goal.

Also I always have to suggest that we remember to tell our own research journey in addition to the main story that we focus on. The story of HOW we found the data is just as significant and just as interesting. We must also commit to telling about the journey as well as what we have found. Both are essential and the story of the journey may also inspire others to do the same.

Some of these stories are found in local libraries and archives, and we should use those state and local facilities. Speaking of which, last night’s Bernice Bennett’s show featured Linda McDowell of the Butler Center in Little Rock Arkansas. Great show with a wonderful overview of holdings offered in the state of Arkansas from more than one site in the state. Her show airs every Thursday evening at 9pm on Blog Radio.

Well, this is motivation for all of us to stay focused on those wonderful projects and stories, and keep researching, keep documenting and keep sharing what you find.